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J&K Congress accuses Farooq Abdullah of divisive politics

Last updated on: May 21, 2009 20:17 IST

Controversial former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Dr Farooq Adullah may find the going tough as the Jammu and Kashmir state Congress has accused him of fielding Gulam Hassan Khan, provincial chief of the National Conference against P Namgyal of the Congress which led to the defeat of Namgyal.

Instead of making Farooq a minister, the Congress is understood to have offered to induct the NC's Anantnag MP Mehboob Beg as a minister of state.

The state congress unit has charged Abdullah with playing the "communal" card to wrest the Ladakh seat, pitting a Muslim against the Buddhist. "We won 206 seats in rest of country by leading a campaign against divisive and communal agenda of the Bharatiya Janata Party. We cannot tolerate any of our allies playing the similar card elsewhere to divide communities," a senior Congress leader said in New Delhi.

Some of the Congress leaders suspect the hand of Gulam Nabi Azad, who wants to be included in the union cabinet after a long gap, behind this intrigue.The former  J&K chief minister was inducted as a general secretary incharge of some of the key states so that his services could be utilised as and when required, but since the Congress and its pre-poll allies returned to power with a thumping majority none of the general secreatries were pressed into service.

Rejecting the NC's plea that Khan had contested against the wish of the party's leadership which stood for the electoral alliance with the Congress as part of the coalition government they are running in the state, a Congress leader pointed out that Khan was not expelled for rebellion and he joined the NC on Monday. "This is a mockery. He (Khan) was never expelled by the NC and continued to be its provincial president," said Congress leaders.

Taking excuse of the Ladakh poll, the Congress leaders in Jammu and Kashmir are itching to start a campaign against Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as they said he too behaves like his father, who used to retreat to London for long periodd, by spending six days in Kullu in Himachal Pradesh instead of spending time at the secretariat.

Highly placed party sources said that Sonia Gandhi was upset with NC for playing divisive politics in a border region, where peace between the two communities had been restored after years of social boycott.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi